To:                              Future Oxfordshire Partnership

(formerly the Oxfordshire Growth Board)

Title of Report:        Feedback from the 14 October Joint Future Oxfordshire Partnership and Health and Wellbeing Board Workshop

Date:                          25 January 2022

Report of:                 Rosie Rowe, Head of Healthy Place Shaping, on behalf of Oxfordshire County Council.

Stefan Robinson, Future Oxfordshire Partnership Manager

Status:                       Open

Executive Summary and Purpose:
 This report provides a summary of the discussion and feedback gathered as part of a recent workshop held between the Oxfordshire Health and Wellbeing Board and the Future Oxfordshire Partnership.
 How this report contributes to the Oxfordshire Strategic Vision Outcomes:
 Improving the health and wellbeing of Oxfordshire’s residents sits at the heart of recently agreed Strategic Vision, which also features a guiding principle to maximise the benefits of strong collaboration within Oxfordshire. Regular engagements between these two strategic bodies offers the opportunity to share information, align priorities and identify actions to support delivery. 
 That the Future Oxfordshire Partnership notes this report and the date of the next joint meeting on 9 March 2022.



1.     A networking and workshop event was held between members of the Future Oxfordshire Partnership and the Oxfordshire Health and Wellbeing Board on 14 October 2021.  The purpose of this event was to provide an informal opportunity for system leaders to discuss areas of common interest and priorities, and to consider how they might work together to address such issues. It also provided an opportunity to brief key stakeholders on the strategic landscape with respect to the Oxfordshire Health and Wellbeing Strategy, local recovery from the Pandemic, the developing Oxfordshire Plan 2050, and the Oxford to Cambridge Arc.


Key Areas of Discussion

2.     The meeting heard from the Director of Public Health about the long term impacts of Covid-19 in Oxfordshire, including the significant impact that the pandemic has had on young people aged 16-24 as well as on some residents who now have “long Covid.” The priorities for the coming years, as agreed in a recent review of the Oxfordshire Health and Wellbeing Strategy, included:


      Retain the life course approach of start well, live well and age well – noting the importance of good end of life care and ‘dying well’

      Renewed focus on reducing inequalities which have been exacerbated by the pandemic

      Need to improve mental wellbeing throughout the life course

      Focus on healthy weight, physical activity, and tobacco control as being central to our prevention strategy

      Address the needs of 16-24 age group

      Sustain and build community capacity to enable independence and to create a strong voluntary and community sector that can support people’s health and wellbeing

      Upskilling our staff so that they can signpost people to local resources and organisations that promote health and wellbeing using training such as Make Every Contact Count (MECC) and mental health awareness


3.     The meeting identified the interrelated and cross-cutting nature of personal health and wellbeing with healthy place shaping which seeks to create a healthy, sustainable, and accessible environment. Specifically, healthy communities are more likely to thrive if they have easy access to high quality green space and clean air, as well as integrated active travel options which are developed through a planning system that prioritises healthy and sustainable travel modes. This was identified as a golden thread which runs through the ambitions of both committees and is featured throughout the Oxfordshire Strategic Vision and NHS/OCC Prevention Framework. The meeting also identified the importance of healthy and sustainable food choices as a means for supporting healthy eating and climate action.


4.     There was a strong consensus among the meeting that the wider social determinants of health must be tackled at source. Improved housing, employment, education, infrastructure, and connectivity would help to reduce some of the significant health inequalities that exist within Oxfordshire, and Covid-19 has served to highlight and exacerbate these challenges in some areas. An increased focus on prevention through intelligent planning is needed alongside closer collaboration to meet the challenges of the future, building on some of the lessons learnt from the pandemic to address the twin challenges of the climate emergency and the need to address health inequalities.


5.     The meeting identified the need to continue to lobby for greater freedoms and flexibilities with respect to land use planning, higher building standards and building genuinely affordable homes. The high cost of housing was creating challenges for recruiting and retaining key workers, and more generally is a key issue for inequalities in Oxfordshire.


6.     In receiving updates on both the developing Oxfordshire Plan 2050 and the Arc Spatial Framework, the meeting agreed that these were two priory routes through which to secure greater powers and freedoms to deliver on local health priorities.  Whilst there were structured routes for council leaders and university leaders to influence the Arc’s development, there was not an equivalent space for health system leaders to input, despite the health of residents being a priority within the Oxfordshire Strategic Vision. 


7.     Continued collaboration between the two committees would provide a route to feed into the Arc discussions, though a more direct space for health leaders to input would be preferable. A first step to providing direct public health input into development of the Arc has been taken with a workshop of public health directors from across the Arc providing a collective response to the consultation on its Vision statement. However, a formal mechanism is needed to ensure that the Arc embeds healthy place shaping principles into its approach and takes account of integrated care system geographies and digital healthcare.


8.     A key theme emerging from the meeting concerned the need to be bold and realistic in any propositions to HM Government regarding the powers and flexibilities we need to deliver on local and national priorities. Oxfordshire’s unique assets and its close partnership networks should be utilised to ensure that a clear message is delivered to HM Government in this respect. Cross sectoral discussion will continue to be important to draw together common themes of delivering the health and wellbeing of our residents.


9.     It was agreed that the two groups should meet again in six months; the date of the next workshop has been scheduled for 9 March 2022.


Report Authors: 
 Rosie Rowe, Head of Healthy Place Shaping, on behalf of Oxfordshire County Council.
 Stefan Robinson, Future Oxfordshire Partnership Manager 
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